Growing up in the San Francisco area in the sixties, I was an avid admirer of the rock art posters of the day, and I still am. In addition to the “Big Five” SF poster artists, there were maybe a hundred others who produced thousands of posters – many of them quite good – and I have enjoyed discovering these on line. I even did one of these posters myself in 1967 for a concert at the University of California at Davis with Quicksilver Messenger Service and Loading Zone. I have regretted that I didn’t do more of these and recently decided there’s no reason I can’t make more now … so here’s the first, promoting my own work.
It is the artist’s occupation to comment on the human condition. For good or for bad, no one can escape hearing about, talking about, thinking about the current corona virus outbreak these days. “Social distancing” is a phrase I hadn’t heard before a week or so ago … now it’s a thing. Despite the efficacy of the practice to curb the spread of the virus, I find the concept disturbing. We need one another and our interaction makes life worth living. Let’s make our distancing physical and not spiritual.
I thought I was a prolific artist cranking out an average of one work a day. That is until I recently read an article about Pablo Picasso, an artist I greatly admire.
According to the article, Picasso created 147,800 works of art in his 78 year career.
This included 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300 sculptures and ceramics, 34,000 illustrations and even 300 poems … wow!
Of these, the article went on to say, only 44 works are considered truly famous … less than .03%.
Not withstanding the fact that I believe far more than 44 of Picasso’s works are worthy of high admiration, the sheer magnitude of his output and dedication is staggering and speaks to the volume required to produce what is considered “great” work.
I need to up my game.
Striking the balance between form and function. I owe my ability in this area to the many hours dedicated to creating bulletin board designs with cut out construction paper in my grammar school days … more on that in my YouTube channel. One of these days, when I have a studio space, I’m going to do some stained glass mosaics.
One of the most fascinating things about art for me is the degree to which the viewer fills in details … not just meaning, but visual perception. Perhaps that’s why minimalism has always intrigued me. Even with highly representational paintings, including those of the masters. If you zoom in real close, it’s hard to believe how much detail is created by the viewer standing at a distance.
A recent favorite of mine … taken from a photograph of an impoverished young girl in London circa 1900. It has been on my mind lately that no matter how bad things appear around me these days, there have been many previous times when things were far worse. Humankind somehow remains resilient and life goes on to get involved in new games … hopefully better ones.